Precious Orchids - Hidden Gold

Precious Orchids - Hidden Gold
Precious Orchids - Hidden Gold
Video: Precious Orchids - Hidden Gold
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goodayera creeping
goodayera creeping

Gudaira creeping, photo by Konstantin Korzhavin

The first mention of precious orchids ("jewels") in Russia is associated with the name of the naturalist E.L. Reggel. In 1899, the International Gardening Exhibition was held in St. Petersburg, at which F.I. Kehli presented anectochilus. In the 20th century, the collector N.A. Bersenyev was one of the first to master the cultivation of this crop in ordinary home conditions.

Precious orchids belong to the orchid family. In our time, about 500 species of these orchids are known. They represent about 15 genera, which are part of the tribe of the fizurus Physuroideae, the subset of the Goodyerinae. These are terrestrial monopodial orchids. These orchids are distributed all over the globe: Brazil (South America), China, India, (Asia), Indonesia, New Guinea. Simple species, for example, Gudayera creeping, are also found in Russia, its habitat is coniferous forests. The plant is perennial, but it blooms once in a lifetime.

Experts distinguish between orchids by leaf color and venation. The patterned pattern of the veins depends on the conditions in which the orchid lives and the age of the plant. With each new sheet, an increasingly complex drawing is revealed. In natural conditions, precious (variegated) orchids are very difficult to notice, as they grow among fallen leaves and moss, under snags and roots of large trees. Orchids live in symbiosis with endemic fungi (which provide them with protection by removing some of the photosynthetic production from plants), which allows orchids to be almost in the dark, among dead leaves and moss.

Basically, in the collections of amateurs you can find the following types:

Ludisia Ludisia is a "gem" orchid distributed from India to Indonesia. It got its name from the dark green leaves streaked with red veins; the only kind of "jewels" that does not require high humidity.

Makodes - grows on the island of Java; has malachite leaves with gold veins. For the drawing on the leaves, which resembles the letters of the local alphabet, the plant is called "alphabet".

Anectochilus Anoectochilus - Plants are found from the Himalayas to New Caledonia, where they grow on mossy rocks. Among these species there are plants with light green and almost black color of leaves, which can be rounded, with wavy or jagged edges. Anectochilus is very rich in gold veins, a number of varieties are called "golden".

Dossinia Dossinia - very similar to Makodes, but with larger leaves and leaf color from light green to purple-green. In the light, the leaves really shimmer like gems.

And, of course, each collector has something of his own, unique and rare, or even a hybrid of his own selection.

anectochilus
anectochilus

Anectochilus, photo by Dasha1

ludisia
ludisia

Ludisia, photo by dfl

Growing precious orchids at home is not very difficult with a greenhouse or aquarium. Since in nature these orchids grow in the shade, they do not need much light either, one fluorescent lamp is enough. An aquarium with precious orchids can be placed in any corner of the apartment. But at the same time, additional lighting is necessary, best of all - backlighting with LED lamps, but precious orchids grow well under fluorescent lamps.

The air humidity should not exceed 80%, with regular ventilation, and the temperature should be above 26-27 ° C. It is better to prepare the substrate for precious orchids ourselves: chopped moss (scald with boiling water beforehand), or "live" moss collected in a swamp (immersed in water (temperature 45 ° for 30 minutes). Slugs and all kinds of living creatures will float up to breathe, and then you can quickly to collect by hand.Precious - orchids are ground-based, they do not need a transparent pot, it is more important that the water does not stagnate, do not cake, do not press.The pot must not be deep, and drainage must be poured on the bottom.

"Jewels" look very nice in an aquarium with "live" moss, although sometimes the moss grows faster than orchids, so it will have to be cut periodically. There are also difficulties in such a neighborhood: due to the fact that part of the stem is immersed in the moss, some diseases can be overlooked, such as the stem nematode - relatively long (1.0-1.3 mm), freely moving, without a clear distinction in sex, it penetrates into the upper part of the root (hypocotyl) and leaf base, lays eggs in plant tissue. And the larvae of the nematode in their development go through several stages, they can very steadily endure adverse conditions for a long time. Fungal diseases are dangerous for "jewels". If such are found, it is advisable to remove the fungal plaque, smear the places affected by the fungal disease with the foundation paste.For prophylaxis purposes, I coat all the stalks with foundationol paste periodically.

Very rarely, "jewels" are affected by a spider mite.

It is advisable to water the plants with boiled or rain water. Water as the substrate dries. Better not to top up than overflow. In principle, the "jewels" do not need feeding, but you can feed them with fertilizers in a very small concentration (reducing the dose by 5-10 times than indicated on the package) intended for orchids.

"Jewels" reproduce by cuttings throughout the year. Any part of the stem is suitable for rooting, only if there are two nodes (buds) on it. The cut must be dried for 10-15 minutes and then immersed in clean moss. After a few weeks, fluffy roots and new shoots will appear. You will have to re-root precious orchids quite often - they grow over time, especially they stretch out after flowering - it depletes the orchids and the lower part of the stems is exposed. Therefore, the longest shoots need to be cut off and roots to grow. By the way, ludia and other precious orchids can quickly take root in water.

Good luck with growing these beautiful golden plants.

When writing the article, the materials "Science and Life" from February 2005, E. Arkhipov were used.

Author Dasha1 2006-02-06

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